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Two landmark cases, "Serrano v Priest" (1971) and "Rodriguez v San Antonio" (1973) catapulted school finance litigation onto the political and educational scene. In their aftermath, 11 state supreme courts had ruled school funding systems unconstitutional while 12 state systems have been upheld as constitutional. Many plaintiffs have argued that states rely too heavily on local property taxes and distribute funding unequally. Defendants often argue that local control is the cause of funding disparities and that state educational clauses do not require equalizing per student spending. A 19-page chart is provided for relevant cases before state supreme courts that includes a brief history of case names, court activity, and plaintiffs. The chart also details court rulings on constitutionality under state equal protection and educational clauses. A high degree of legal scrutiny that shifts the burden of proof to states often exists where plaintiffs argue that funding inequalities violate a constitutional right to education. The chart includes a brief historical and contextual analysis describing the particular claims of each plaintiff and subsequent legal developments. (TEJ)

Descriptors: Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, Court Litigation, Educational Equity (Finance), Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, School Law, State Courts

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Autor: Fulton, Mary; Long, David


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